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Publisher's Summary

The Secret Lives of Colour tells the unusual stories of the 75 most fascinating shades, dyes and hues. From blonde to ginger, the brown that changed the way battles were fought to the white that protected against the plague, Picasso's blue period to the charcoal on the cave walls at Lascaux, acid yellow to kelly green and from scarlet women to imperial purple, these surprising stories run like a bright thread throughout history. 

In this book Kassia St Clair has turned her lifelong obsession with colours and where they come from (whether Van Gogh's chrome yellow sunflowers or punk's fluorescent pink) into a unique study of human civilisation. Across fashion and politics, art and war, The Secret Lives of Colour tell the vivid story of our culture.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio on our Desktop Site.

©2020 Kassia St Clair (P)2020 Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

What the critics say

"A mind-expanding tour of the world without leaving your paintbox. Every colour has a story, and here are some of the most alluring, alarming, and thought-provoking. Very hard painting the hallway magnolia after this inspiring primer." (Simon Garfield) 

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This will be a book I listen to many times

I was interested in this book with the title BUT it is so much more. I am an artist and I think every artist or someone that works with colour would be fascinated by her stories and the history of colour. I thought the spice trade was instrumental in the world's dealings but I now know colour was so important in shaping our world. Kassia's ability to read eloquently bring the stories alive. Her tone, cadence, rhythm and voice is very easy to listen to for hours.

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Calling all Colour Nerds and Art History Lovers

This was such a fantastic listen. St. Clair is a delight to listen to and has some excellent historical nuggets that span several cultures and religions within each colour chapter. As an artist and someone who enjoys art history in digestible amounts, I highly recommend this book. It’s certainly piqued my interest in diving deeper into the history of colour!